“Knowing what to do, when you don’t know what to do,” Max Van Manen
Teaching is, more often than not, unpredictable. In a classroom, we are expected to be tactful, intuitive, sensitive and make crucial decisions that affect individuals and the group. As Alan Maley shares, teachers need training to help them deal with and create conditions for handling the unknown and for embracing risk, to develop the ability to ‘think on one’s feet’ and respond in the moment (Maley & Underhill, 2012). These skills may often feel unlearnable. Thankfully they are not.
In theater clowning, we turn to the spirit of our inner clown to practice improvisational readiness. When we embrace paradox, confusion and our personal challenges, suddenly the impossible becomes possible. The clown schools us in the art of welcoming every gift life offers, especially our perfect mistakes.
Summary: In a theater clowning workshop, we break away from outdated ways of seeing ourselves and being; we dance with our uncertainties and enjoy our problems. Through theater and improvisation exercises, we uncover mysteries in mistakes and experience ourselves in relationship to others and world. This playful process, combined with feedback, opens up new ways of being present in the world and nurtures a joyful freedom in our selves.
No previous experience is needed to be touched by the clown’s magic. We don’t become clowns, we step into the state of the clown. Through warm ups, gentle physical exercises and self-reflection, we practice the ability to be present and set our imaginations free. We leave behind preconceived plans and explore letting something happen instead of making it happen…effortless heart centered intuition. If you can breathe, you can enjoy the lighthearted benefits of the red nose.
Catherine (Montreal, Canada) discovered the magical mysterious world of theater clowning in Germany in 2001. This approach to life and living nurtures her deep love and fascination of people, play, relationships, community and above all, the stunning beauty of imperfection. She’s been submerged in teaching, communication and creative processes for over three fun filled decades on three continents: North America, Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China) and Europe. Catherine brings loving audacity and gentle chaos to workshops and the stage, in English, French and German.